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shall fmd rest to your souls. But they said, We will not walk
17 [therein.] Also I set watchmen over you, to warn you ofdawger, and to threaten my judgments, [saying,] Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.
18 Therefore hear, ye neighbouring nations, and know, O congregation, especially ye governors and magistrates, what [is] among
19 them, what a hsight of wickedness they are grown to. Hear, O earth; behold, I will bring evil upon this people, [even] the fruit of their thoughts, that is, their evil thoughts and the things they fear, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor
20 to my law, but rejected it. To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country, on which you ground your firetensions to my favour? your burnt offerings [are] not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto
21 me. Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people, and the father and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish; their designs shall miscarry, they shall fall into the evils they thoug1.l to avoid; neither the father's wisdom nor the son's
22 strength, shall deliver them. Thus saith the Lord, Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall
23 be raised from the sides of the earth. They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they [are] cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in
24 array as men for war against thee, O daughter of Zion. We have heard the fame thereof: our hands wax feeble: anguish hath taken hold of us, [and] pain, as of a woman in travail; the
25 fieofile are terribly alarmed at the refiort, and say, Go not forth into the field, nor walk by the way: for the sword of the ene
26 my [and] fear [is] on every side. O daughter of my people, gird [thee] with sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes: make thee mourning, [as for] an only son, most bitter lamentation:
27 for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us. I have set thee, O Jeremiah, [for,] or rather in, a tower [and] a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way, to observe
28 their conduct, to see my justice, and warn them. They [are] all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: [they are] brass and iron, the meatiest metals ; they [are] all corrupters, impudent and obstinate, are corrupt themselves, and corrupting one another.
29 The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away.•
30 Reprobate silver shall [men] call them, that is, silver mixed with deoss, that will not pass current, because the Lord hath rejected them ; they shall be rejected of God and man, and left to be consumed in the furnace.
• Here is ;ut :illusion to the method of rcfminR silver; lead wis mixed with it forthat pur, pose; the bellows were burned by brmg long ne.ir the fire; st, loni; cJod had used methods to reform them; but their wickei!ne,a was Lot removed, nor were they the better lor the means •t reformat ion.
1. TT7 E may infer from hence how resolute we should be in VV our spiritual warfare. The Chaldeans were eager to go up to the attack; neither the heat of the day, nor the coldness of the night discouraged them. Let the courage and patience of military men rouse us to Jig/it the good fight of faith. It is a glorious warfare in which we are engaged against spiritual enemies. The commission and command are from God; we have the promise of his strength, if we go on vigorously and faint not. Let Christ's aged soldiers not be disheartened, but be so much the more diligent, as the day goeth away, and the shadows of the evening are lengthened, for a glorious reward will be given: let ив there/ore be Jail/iful unto drath, and God will give us a crown of life.
2. We see what is necessary to be done, if we desire the continuance of God's favour, v. 8. We must attend to religious instructions, by whom and in what way soever delivered; consider their importance, and obey them; else God's soul will depart from us; we shall lose his favour, and every thing honourable and comfortable; and then we shall become desolate indeed. Let us therefore hear inntruction, and be mite, before it is too late.
3. We have here a lesson of important instruction for ministers. They must faithfully deliver even those warnings and threatenings of scripture, which are most terrifying and disagreeable to men; and which is not very pleasant to themselves to deliver, any farther than as they are needful and useful. They must beware, lest, as in г>. 14. they encourage men in their sins, and suffer them to perish through self deceit. Let their hearers also beware lest they account the ward of the Lord a rr/iroach, and are angry with a reproof that reaches their cases and consciences. Kather let them be thankful for it, and etteem the faithful refirover in love.
4. How desirable is it for all, especially young persons, to seek after and ivallc in the good tuai/, the old fia'/i; like travellers that would not willingly -mistake their road, but want and ask direction. Let them inquire in what way those have walked, whose names are n-corded with honour in scripture; ask of thtir parents, their ministers, tneir bible and practical books, iv/ial i« the good way, and never turn aside- from it. There, and there only, will be found rest for their souls, present peace, and everlasting happiness.
5. Mow miserable is the slate of those who continue unreformcd under the means of grace ! God tries them by various methods, by conscience, his providence, his word and ordinances, as metals are tried, in order to separate the dross, to refine and purify them. His ministers take pains to study, to make known and to enforce ttie will of God; but, alus! seldom is any good effect of their pains seen. Their bellows are burned, their time is lost, their strtnglh and henlth impaired, and their lives shortened. But they that will not. be reformed, shall be utterly consumed: the Lord will reject them, and then who can save them ? who will have pity on them? Let us pray that we may be refined by the means of grace, as stiver is refined; and be purified as gold; then shall we be vessels of1 honour, and our faithful ministers will rejoice in the day of Christ, that they have not run in vain, nor laboured in vain.
Here begins another section of the firofihecy, ending at the tenth chafi* ter! it opens with exhortations to amendment of life, without which their conf deuce in the temfile is declared to be in vain.
1 r I THE word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,
2 JL Stand in the gate of the Lord's house, (firobably at some grand festival) and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all [ye of] Judah, that enter in at these
-3 gates to worship the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place, or else I will give it to strangers
A and idolaters. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The tempie of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the
5 Lord, [are] these. For if ye thoroughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye thoroughly execute judgment between a
6 man and his neighlxiur; [If] ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this
7 place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.
8 Behold, ye trust in lying words that cannot profit, that is, in
9 false firofihets. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and buvn incense unto Baal, and walk after
10 other gods whom ye know not; And come awl stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and pretend is worship me, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? will ye abuse my mercy and the deliverances granted you, as if I designed them as an encouragement to you to go on in your
11 sins? Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes ? Behold, even I have seen [it,] saith the
12 Lord, though yon think I did not. But go ye now ucto my place which [was] in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, the place where the ark was settled at your first entrance into Canaan, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel; firobably the city was destroyed, as we never read of it afterii'ardx.
13 And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the Lord, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye
14 heard not; and I called you, but ye answere'J not; Therefore will I do unto [this] house which is called hy my name, when in ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to jou and to your
15 fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, [even] the whole
16 seed of Ephraim. Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them ; neither make intercession to me : for I will not hear thee.*
17 Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the
18 streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead [their] dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, the nsiu moon, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger; all hands are employed as if they had their meat and
19 drink from them. Do they provoke me to anger? saith the Lord; can they hurt me by their wickedness? [do they] not [provoke]
20 themselves to the confusion of their own faces? Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it
21 shall burn, and shall not be quenched. Thus saith the Loud of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burst offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh; though the burnt offering* should be entirety consumed., and only the fat of the /if ace offering, you may either burn them all, or eat them all, it is the same thing to me while you gi on thus to do tuickcdly; or rather, Ye have added your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat flesh, which I said nothing
22 qfto your fathers. For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of
23 Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices :f But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways
24 that I have commanded you that it may be well unto you. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels [and] in the imagination of their evil heart, and went
25 backward lite headstrong oren, and not forward. Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets,
26 daily rising up early, and sending [them :] Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers; »el ufi idils in the tcmjilr and
27 took m warning. Therefore thou shall spu;\k all these words unto them ; but they will not hearken to thee ; thou shall also
28 call upon them; but they will not answer thee. But thou shall say unto them, This [is] a nation that obeycth not the voice of the Lord their God, nor receiveth correction: truth toward (i'jil and man is perished, and is cut off from their mouth ; there is no depending on any thing tkt-j say.
• God foresaw tbit there would not be л univers! reformation, which vrn* the only thing that could prevent their captivity ; then-lure he commands the prophet not to pray tor them.
t A* Grv.l rcallv comm.iivletl these when they came ont of Egjpt, the mcrtmnR mast be, thit he h;u) a pmtcr rerçai il to оЫ-Jit-nee than to burnt otTVrinR*. :uul to mere* than sacri' ficei. Or. th.it ceremonial observances « ere no turth.tr acceptable, lh»n as ihry were the («nuiue fruits of obedience
29 Cut off thine hair, [O Jerusalem,] and cast [it] away, in token ('f sorrow, and take up a lamentation on high places, a solemn Jiublic lamentation; for the Lord hath rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath, tha' used to be the generation of his love.
30 Por the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the Lord : they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name to pollute it ; which was actually done in Ma
ЗГ nawb's time. And they have built the high places of Tophet, which [is] in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, wicked rites which they have learned of the Canaanites,* which I commanded ¿them] not, neither came it into my heart.
32 Therefore, behold, the days come, sa'dh the Lord, that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter: for they shall bury those that thall be slain by the Ciial'lcani in Tophet, till there be no
33 place. And the carcasses of this people shall be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth ; and none
34 shall fray [them] away. Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate; there shall be no encouragement to marry when they have nothing but desolation and ruin before their eyes.
1. "\X7" E learn hence, that there are many who are very V V zealous for the forms of godliness, yet have nothing of the power of it. This wicked people made a great ado about t fie temfile of the Lord. It was the cry of the times; as many in the Christian world have said, The church, the church; while by their sins they have been pulling it down; zealous for forms and rites, while the church has been made a den of robbers, and their hearts have been full of all wickedness. God sees this hypocrisy, and cannot be deceived by it. Let us take heed that we do not deceive ourselves.
2. Observe the gracious regard which God has to the prayer of his servants. When he was determined to root out this wicked people, he commands his prophet not to pray for them. Ле knew his affection and zeal for the people, and that he would pray, while there was any hope. Hut God esteemed the praying breath of his servant too precious to be spent in vain. This is an encouragement to pray for our country, while we have reason to hope for success; and it contains an awful admonition, that they who will not be reformed by the preaching of ministers, shall not b¿ the better for their prayers.
• Toidie-t wii that particular »pot in the val'«.'» of HiniK>m. where firei were mide, info which the poor iunocrnt victims were thrown ; an;l i>,upj>oe«i fo have <trrived ils ij.iui* from the d'-ums and Mbirts that were bitten in order to drown ths crie.' 9t the JiiMreu «h«n they lAcrinVrd tbcai to Melcck.
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